SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – UCSB split its matches in Day Two of the Winter Invitational with a staggering 21-1 victory over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and a 20-8 loss to No. 2 UCLA.
The Gauchos are now an even 2-2 to start the season, as they will conclude their tournament on Sunday with matches against No. 16 Loyola Marymount and No. 5 Arizona State. Both matches will be hosted at Campus Pool, as UCSB will take on the Lions at 1 p.m. and will conclude the weekend with the Sun Devils at 4:15 p.m.
To see the final scores of the tournament's other matches, go to the 2015 Winter Invitational page here.
No. 14 UC Santa Barbara struggled to keep pace with second-ranked UCLA (3-0), as the Bruins cruised to a 20-8 victory over the Gauchos on Saturday morning.
With a minute into the match, UCLA jumped out to a 1-0 lead when Alys Williams scored the match's first goal from the right side. Jessie Porter responded for the Gauchos with a goal of her own to tie the score at one a piece. The Bruins ensued with four straight scores, putting themselves up 5-1 with three and a half to go in the first quarter.
Samantha Murphy then scored for the Gauchos on a rifle shot with a little over two minutes to play in the first. Bruin Kodi Hill quickly responded with a goal of her own passed the outstretched arms of Mackenzie Brokaw about 45 seconds later to put UCLA back up by four. With thirty seconds left in the first, Camila Schafer scored with a shot from close in pulling the Gauchos within three heading into the second quarter.
In the second, it was all Bruins as they outscored the Gauchos 5-1 in the quarter. All-American Rachel Fattal scored her second goal of the day roughly a minute in a half in extending the Bruins' lead to 7-3. UCLA continued to play with their high powered offense and outscored the Gauchos 9-4 in the second half en route to the win.
Despite the loss, the Gauchos were able to put up the most points against the Bruins thus far this season. Brenna Thomas and Camila Schafer led UCSB in scoring twice each. Through three matches, Schafer has been the leading scorer for the Gauchos putting up at least two goals in every match.
Seeking to bounce back from their morning loss, the Gauchos took on the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Athenas to close out the second day of the Winter Invitational.
After waiting over eight hours between games, UCSB was more than well rested and went on the immediate offense. Jessie Porter and Samantha Murphy would each have their own goal within the first minute of the quarter to quickly put their team up 2-0. After another pair of Gaucho goals, the Athenas had a few of their own remarkable defensive blocks to draw the first quarter to a close score.
UCSB was not fazed and kept on with their aggressive attacking. They would add on another six goals to have a 10-0 heading into the half. Senior Jade Wentz Fitzgerald made three consecutive goals all within minutes of each other to close out the second quarter.
The latter half of the game continued to be dominated by UCSB's combined relentless assertive play and alert defense. Claremont's offense finally came alive and was able to put up its only two goals in the last five minutes of the fourth quarter, but by then the Gauchos had runaway with the game. The final score would be a redeeming 20-2 win for UCSB.
The 20 goals by UCSB had not been seen since January 19, 2013 when the Gauchos defeated Cal State San Bernardino in a similar result of 20-3. In addition, Camila Schafer has had at least two goals in each game throughout the tournament and is currently the team leader in that category.
"Rest and recovery made a big difference for us as well as being students of the game by watching some good water polo," said head coach Serela Kay. "We've talked more about focusing on the counterattack and going over the two meter mark. Staying on the same page and communicating in the middle of the pool led to us executing well."